Monthly Archives: September 2016

Why should you use ACT! to manage prospects and customers?


ACT!’s powerful CRM software enables businesses to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with their customers.

Managing your customer relationships is critical for your company’s growth and success.

Savvy businesses are taking advantage of powerful software tools to hone in on prospects, cultivate a relationship with customers, and benefit from insights that can boost sales and open up new opportunities. Recently, eMarketer reported that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions are becoming an increasingly important part of marketing budgets across a variety of organizations.

Which CRM software should you choose? The software should perform a variety of important functions that you can adapt to your business needs. Your options include ACT! – a powerful CRM product that’s popular among small businesses.

Why use ACT! to manage my prospects and customers?

The following are some of the benefits that ACT! can bring to your business.

Stronger, more personalized customer relationships

Developing a stronger relationship with customers, and increasing customer retention and loyalty, will help your business thrive.

A recent article from Entrepreneur offers some of the supporting evidence – for example, one study that shows the following:

“…increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent can increase profits by 25 to 95 percent.”

If your potential and existing customers feel that you’re welcoming to them and responsive to their individual needs, they’re much more likely to do business with you repeatedly. They can also spread the word about your company to their family, friends, colleagues, and social media followers.

ACT! helps you gather and organize and information about your customers, including their preferences, concerns, and purchase history. This knowledge, readily accessed, makes it easier for you to reach out to them at the right times and with the right content for each occasion. Customers are less likely to feel neglected or bombarded with emails that contain irrelevant content.

Opportunity tracking and increased sales

With its opportunities and sales tracking capabilities, ACT! gives you the means to easily manage every step of the sales process. You can monitor your progress with each lead, opportunity, or prospect and better understand your chances of closing a deal. You can review every interaction you’ve had, including the outcomes of email exchanges, phone calls, and in-person meetings. Having this information available helps you figure out what steps will bring you closer to securing a sale.

Helping your employees work as a team

With high-quality CRM software, your employees are all on the same page. They can access the most updated information on every potential or existing customer. Using the software, they share their own knowledge and insights with their coworkers. No one is left out of the loop, uncertain about the status of a lead or whether or not a customer complaint has already been addressed. If one employee needs to quickly fill in for another, they have all of the relevant information available to them on the spot.

Improved efficiency and productivity

One of the major benefits of CRM software tools is the ability to rely on automated processes. Whether it’s backing up your customer data or launching your latest email campaign, ACT! takes care of a lot of its functions automatically. You enjoy the power of oversight and management, but you don’t have to get immersed in all of the details. Based on your business needs and your directions, the program handles various tasks, freeing up your time and allowing you to invest your efforts in larger, overarching objectives. ACT! is also convenient in how it allows you to integrate its data with other tools you routinely use for work, including Microsoft Outlook, Dropbox, and iCloud Storage.

Please contact us for more information about how you can successfully use ACT! to manage your customer interactions and grow your business. As certified consultants for ACT!, we’ll make sure the software is customized to your company and working in a way that best suits your needs.

Wireless vs Cat-6: Which Should You Choose for Your Business?


Choosing the right internet type for your business requires considering a number of factors, and you may find that a combination of different methods is best.

When configuring your IT set-up, and when planning the organization of your office more generally, one of the decisions you’ll repeatedly run up against is whether to go “wired” (with cables) or “wireless” (Wi-Fi).

Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose one at the complete expense of the other. Many businesses combine the two.

Wireless vs Cat-6: How Do They Compare?

Various factors will influence the extent to which you rely on a wireless set-up vs. the use of cables (Cat-6 is short for Category 6, a high-quality cable that provides notable improvements in performance compared to Cat5e, which is also frequently used).

The devices and applications you regularly depend on will play an important role in these decisions. Let’s look at how wireless generally compares to Cat-6 cables across different dimensions.


Setting up Wi-Fi in your work environment gives your employees, business partners, and customers greater convenience when they use laptops, Smartphones, or tablets on your premises. Although businesses have legitimate concerns about a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach, it has become fairly common, often contributing to productivity and giving employees greater flexibility for how to get their work done.

This, however, doesn’t mean that cables no longer have a purpose. Cables remain a strong option for desktop computers and other devices that remain at one location. And while they’re often not as convenient as Wi-Fi, they offer other benefits.


Although Ethernet cables aren’t entirely free of security risks (for example, cyber criminals can try to tap into a cable), they transmit data more securely than wireless signals. With Wi-Fi, data gets transmitted in the form of radio waves between a computing device and a router; if the Wi-Fi remains open, anyone can intercept the data and listen in, even without any physical connection to your network.

However, there are a number of ways to improve Wi-Fi security. For example, businesses can use high standards of encryption and lengthy, complex passwords to better protect their Wi-Fi transmissions. Even if cables enjoy an edge in cyber security, you don’t have to give up on Wi-Fi.

Speed and Latency

Cables have the capability to transmit data faster and with less latency or delay than Wi-Fi networks. For many day-to-day business activities, these differences between cables and Wi-Fi aren’t relevant or noticeable to end-users. You may, however, perceive differences under some circumstances – such as when you need to transmit large amounts of data, including huge files. With some applications, you’ll favor the greater speed and reliability of a Cat6 cable.


Wi-Fi signals are more vulnerable to interference. Distance from the router, the activities from multiple devices, the presence of other Wi-Fi networks, and barriers such as walls can all interfere with Wi-Fi signals and degrade them.

Cables are also vulnerable to signal degradation. But assuming you’ve installed them correctly and are performing the necessary maintenance, they’re significantly less prone to interference and offer overall greater stability than Wi-Fi. (One of the qualities of Cat6 cables in particular are their ability to minimize cross-talk.)

Office layout

Fewer cables means it’s easier to set up your office and arrange your devices. You won’t have to worry as much about where to install all the cables, and where they’ll run along (or within) the floor, walls, or ceilings to different devices. There’s less clutter and more flexibility in layout. For example, if you’re using a printer with a wireless connection, you don’t have to link it physically to the computing device you’re printing a file from. You can position the printer all the way across the room if that works better for your layout.

Chances are, your company will rely on some combination of wired and wireless communications. The specifics of the arrangements will depend on your business needs (now and in the future), and the devices you’re working with. Don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance in figuring out the best ways to set-up your Wi-Fi and cable installations.

The Path Towards Greater Consumerization: Your IT Help Desk


A consumer-friendly IT help desk will carve the path toward a better overall user experience.

When reading about IT Help Desk trends and other tech developments, it’s easy for an IT officer to cringe, even if it’s only on the inside. In our opinion, one reason to cringe is this: the end result of implementing a new IT trend is that a company must find more tech dollars. Why is money for IT development so important? It’s a basic fact of doing business in the present IoT economy. Consumers have an endless thirst for everything to be connected to the Internet. This occurs even as consumer apps appear to have the potential to replace traditional business websites.

Breaking It Down

Whenever you launch a new platform, from an online help desk to a shopping cart solution, it is already obsolete. There is another competitor working with its own IT partner to launch something better. What has improved over time is that some trends have made it easier to upgrade existing systems without starting from scratch. Think of the greater use of open source software and the transition of more internal servers to the cloud. You can call this building microservices or developing applications that talk to legacy systems. You can call this the development of workaround IT solutions. Whatever you call it, flexibility in IT development is the name of the game. Otherwise, your company would never have enough time to enjoy a return on investment for its latest platform or software application.

The Future 

A recent Forbes article pointed to the top technology trends of 2016, and we were interested to learn about the path towards app streaming. According to Jayson Demers, “App streaming allows users to access content to apps they haven’t even downloaded yet, opening a potential door to the eventuality of apps replacing traditional websites as the central medium to gather new information.” This is a good indicator of what users will want in the future, which can even drive the ways that we deliver services to our clients.

The Background

We are IT experts who offer support to many types of organizations, usually with a focus on scalability. We can surprise our clients with our versatility, or the ability to address many types of IT needs and infrastructure gaps. We have thought about many ways to make it easier for customers to interact with our company, whether we are providing IT help desk support or fully-managed IT services. Our clients need the easiest ways to learn about the current state of their IT systems and when to give their immediate attention to any problems that we might be handling behind the scenes. Our capacity to respond with the right levels of support directly affects how our clients implement their customer service delivery models.

The Need for Strategic Thinking

As your company considers working with us, it’s important to think with a strategic mindset. You want to determine the best use of IT dollars, and often that boils down to outsourcing some IT services, especially help desk support, to an outside firm. We make it easy for your company to engage different levels of IT support based on your changing projects. With our help, you won’t have to invest in the many costs of hiring internal IT people, which we all know is more than just a salary line. We also ensure that the people who will be providing support to your employees are knowledgeable about your IT systems and capable of recommending upgrades that would make your business more efficient. We want to help you improve the consumerization of your business model without paying too much for IT development.

For more details, please contact us today.

Is Intronis Online Backup the Right Choice for Your Company?


Itronis’ cloud-based data backup makes it easy to manage, store, access, and secure your data online.

Failing to back up your data leaves your company vulnerable to severe financial losses. Should you lose your data permanently, or fail to restore it at an acceptable speed, your employees will become less productive, your business operations will get derailed, and your customers will lose trust in you.

It’s important to choose the right backup solutions, as they don’t all perform equally well. One strong option comes from Intronis and their cloud-based data backup. There are a number of compelling reasons to go with Intronis for your company.


What are some of the benefits of using Intronis Online Backup?

  • Flexibility. You can adjust your Intronis Online Backup plan to fit your business needs, including the types of data you want to back up, where you want them backed up, and your data recovery goals. You have options for backing up your data both on the cloud and locally.
  • Security. Intronis Online Backup has powerful security features, including 256-bit encryption and highly protected facilities when you back up your data on the cloud. State-of-the-art security is critical for protecting your data from theft, tampering, and unauthorized exposure. If your organization works in any way with medical patient data, know that Intronis is compliant with HIPAA regulations.
  • Dependability. When businesses discover that their data backup measures have failed, it’s a horrifying experience. It often occurs in the aftermath of an IT disaster, when they seek to recover and restore lost data, only to find that their backups are corrupted or otherwise useless. Intronis backs up your data reliably in more than one location, so that even if one of their facilities gets disabled by some kind of outage, your data remains available elsewhere.
  • Reduced downtime. Being able to recover your data quickly is key to minimizing losses after an IT disaster. Earlier this year, an article from Information Week Network Computing estimated the costs that downtime extracts from businesses; companies in North America collectively lose hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to downtime. It’s important to note that smaller businesses are especially vulnerable, and can’t always recover from prolonged downtime and permanent loss of data. Whatever backup measures you use, you need to ensure that you can recover your data quickly, with a priority on the data that’s more critical for your business operations.
  • Useful for different environments. For example, Intronis supports Hyper-V and VMWare, making their backups applicable to virtual machines.
  • High-quality tech support. Their tech support is free and based in the US. They respond quickly and offer clear, effective guidance for any problems you may encounter.

What about alternatives to Intronis? A look at Carbonite

When choosing an online backup solution for their company, Carbonite comes up as an alternative to Intronis. But is it the better choice?

It’s generally better to choose Intronis over Carbonite. With Intronis, it’s easier to manage backups and restoration; centralized management gives you more control and a better idea of what’s going on. Backups tend to be slower on Carbonite, and in some circumstances they’re prone to data loss. Carbonite also doesn’t support network drives, and its sharing features are limited.

Intronis is a popular choice for managed service providers (MSPs) because of its reliability, high-quality security, ease of management, strong performance, and responsive tech support. For companies with a variety of data and high volumes of data, Intronis is the more suitable choice.

What will ultimately work best for you? Don’t hesitate to contact us for specific advice tailored to your company and its needs. Whatever backup solution you ultimately choose, it’s important that you have the option of backing up your data securely on the cloud. High-quality cloud-based backups ensure that you have off-site copies of your data that can get quickly restored should you suffer an IT disaster.